Followers of this blog will no doubt be aware of the value of an engraving and how it can convey a precious sentiment which brings enormous value to the recipient.
However, there is also another role that an engraving can play, and one which is especially favoured by royalty. Because, while an engraving is commonly used to express a sentiment, it is also deployed to communicate distinction.
For no one is the role of status more important than for royalty.
The concept of royalty is built on the foundation that they are somehow different to the rest of us.
In centuries bygone, the enduring narrative was that they were somehow selected by god and their other-worldly status therefore had to be supported by accoutrements that were almost beyond the reach of ordinary man.
Bespoke ornamentation was the bread and butter of royal households around the world.
Whether it be hand painted initials on furnishings, engravings on jewellery or stone carvings in monuments, everything had to show and confer the importance of the ruling monarch.
While the belief that kings and queens are ordained by god has dwindled, the need to distinguish royalty from ‘commoners’ is just as important (albeit requiring much more subtle and nuanced messaging).
Discretion is now de rigour as a royal – it’s about being guardians of our heritage, bringers of continuity and protectors of values.
To fulfil this role, royalty must still be perceived as operating at a higher level to you and I, but they must not be bashful.
Hence, in the last century it was engraved gifts that royals often favoured more than anything.
The very process of engraving was something that spoke to the role that royalty wanted to play – royalty are representatives of the people, but there is something almost indefinable about them that makes them different.
Indeed, in their role, they need to have a connection to the normal person… but at the same time need to be above the issues that normal people face.
Taking an aspirational and not impossibly attainable item, therefore, speaks to the humbleness of new royalty – but then engraving it with something like a royal crest or initials, still manages to bring a higher distinction.
Next time you want to feel special, why not also gift an engraved piece, and enjoy the heirs and graces that will be soon to follow.